ERIC Number: ED232446
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981
Reference Count: 0
The Spoken Language of Disadvantaged Children in Israel--A Look at Some Pragmatic Strategies of Communication.
Papers in Linguistics: International Journal of Human Communication, v14 n3 p403-430 1981
The spoken language of Israeli children from various socioeconomic and ethnic groups was compared in terms of pragmatic strategies of communication in order to evaluate whether disadvantaged children were linguistically deficient. Interviews were conducted with a sample of 11- and 12-year-old children from privileged and disadvantaged backgrounds. Examination of the interview transcripts demonstrates that disadvantaged children use the same types of pragmatic communication strategies as privileged children. The actual linguistic performance may appear less intelligent to middle-class listeners due to different patterns of linguistic behavior deriving from their different backgrounds. It was observed that the privileged children used a more formal register and provided more detailed information in response to questions. However, the two registers used by the two groups of children do not differ significantly with regard to sentence complexity and vocabulary size. It is concluded that unfavorable evaluations of the speech of disadvantaged children arise in part from differences in background rather than from genuine deficiencies in linguistic competence. (Author/RW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Linguistic Research, Inc., Edmonton (Alberta).